Here's a handy list of incentives to help you think through your your referral program strategy. We'll add some brief comments to help you think this through.

Incentive Structure

  • Single sided - This is an incentive for the sharer with no incentive for their friend (the referred visitor).

  • Two-sided (a.k.a. double sided) - This type of program has a referral incentive for the sharer and a conversion incentive for the visitor.

Incentive Types

  • Loyalty points - If you have an active loyalty program, you can offer points to users who refer friends.

  • Cash - Particularly useful if your company has a low Customer Lifetime Value (LTV).

  • Store Credit - Particularly useful if you company has a high Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) like subscription businesses or where your customers come back and buy often.

  • Coupons - The cousin of store credit.

  • Gift - Can be used if you offer physical premiums like tote bags or have partnerships with third parties who want to give your customers a free trial of their product or service.

  • Donation to Charity - Your company can donate to a charity for every friend your customers refer. A great branding strategy.

  • Access to special content - Really great for companies that offer white papers or other tent pole content pieces.

  • Access to special features - Give customers who refer friends an upgrade. Great for SAAS and web-based apps like games.

  • Special events - This can include virtual events or on-the-ground galas.

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